5 UFC fighters on the verge of stardom

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

November 6th, 2019

Moscow hosts a big-time featherweight showdown between Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar on Saturday, November 9. Ahead of the big fight card out of Mother Russia, we'll profile five UFC fighters who stand just moments away from superstardom. From rising contenders to newly crowned champs, these five are ready to make their mark on the industry.

Dominic Reyes

After he clobbered whatever was left of Chris Weidman, Reyes is one step away not just for stardom but MMA immortality, as a shot with Jon Jones is all but guaranteed to happen within the next year. The surging Reyes might be the right kind of wrong for Jones, as both his striking and ground game are top notch, but time will tell if Reyes is ready for the jump.

Paulo Costa

The undefeated Costa made a statement when he outdueled the very tough and accomplished Yoel Romero in his last fight and is primed and ready for a mouth-watering showdown with Israel Adesanya. Costa’s streak has been impressive, and a title reign at middleweight at the expense of Adesanya makes him a premier attraction with a division full of capable opponents awaiting.

Leon Edwards

It is high time that Leon Edwards gets the respect he deserves, after being stuck in prospect purgatory despite winning against established and formidable opponents. Edwards is closing in on a title shot at welterweight, but a grudge match against Jorge Masvidal needs to be next, now that Masvidal took care of business against Nate Diaz. The bad blood between the two is sure to spill out, and should Edwards win, his legitimacy becomes unquestioned.

Weili Zhang

From a marketing standpoint the UFC hit a jackpot with Weili Zhang. “Magnum” destroyed Jessica Andrade when the UFC visited Shanghai and is fixing to be a key attraction as the promotion continues to expand in the region. Undefeated in UFC, the current strawweight champion currently carries the distinction of being the first Chinese title holder in the promotion’s history, and her 20-fight win streak is nothing to scoff at.

Tatiana Suarez

Though she is dealing with a nagging neck injury sustained in her last fight, Suarez is on the inside track to a big fight soon, thanks to her win in The Ultimate Fighter. Suarez’s undefeated record is boosted by her tremendous wrestling ability, and she is closing in on what should be a very entertaining title bout against Zhang once she returns from injury. Even if Zhang goes another direction, Suarez is good enough to make a lot of noise and remain in the mix for the immediate future.